Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update November 22nd, 2018

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Team TGF wishes you and your family the best of the holiday season, we’re very thankful to have you as subscribers and will continue to work hard to catch you more fish. Happy Thanksgiving!

Willamette Valley/Metro – Between the onset of cold weather and a hiatus between fish runs, metro fishing opportunities are limited. Thanksgiving had traditionally been the jump start of winter steelhead season, and there is rumors of a wild winter steelhead caught and released on the Sandy River. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but with few anglers fishing, chances certainly go down.

Wild coho are also available on the Sandy and Clackamas River but anglers aren’t generally enthused about catch and release fishing. The wild fish distribute better throughout the river system, and will be present well into December. Bobber and jigs as well as spinners and spoons will take fish. Summer steelhead, mostly of hatchery origin, are also a late season option, but won’t make great table fare this late into the season. Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHIN Guide Service reports, “I first want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. The forecast for the week looks not so promising as the river forecast is for the river to take a huge jump over the next couple of days. The river is forecasted to jump 2 ft over the next couple of days. It depends on the freezing level on what happens to the river color. If the freezing level stays below 4000ft the river will stay clear and will be fishable. There is still some coho in the river and winter steelhead should start showing up in good numbers.”

Trout fishing remains a good option if you’re prepared for inclement weather, as is the forecast for the next several days. Check the ODF&W web site for the most recent stocking schedule, but Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove will remain a best bet.

Anglers often use this time to tie gear in anticipation of the winter steelhead run which will start in earnest by mid-January. The Sandy has seen a good return in previous years and this year should be no different. The Clackamas has struggled recently, but this year should be better on this system as well.

Catch and release sturgeon fishing in the Portland Harbor should stay productive all winter. Fresh sand shrimp or smelt will be consistent producers.

Side note: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife received its section 120 permit, allowing for the lethal removal of California sea lions from the mouth of the Clackamas River to Willamette Falls. Up to 93 mammals can be removed this year, during the height of the predation, around 40 sea lions are present. Channel 2 news reports on it HERE.

Northwest Oregon – East winds knocked down the ocean swell, making for great ocean opportunity for bottomfish early this week. Large ling cod and exceptional sea bass were taken at Three Arch Rocks near Oceanside for the few that were in pursuit. The lings were taking jigs worked in 130 to 140 foot of water, while sea bass were suspended, also taking “iron” jigs and shrimp fly jigs. Limits were easily had. Dinner reef closer to the north tip of the jetty is also producing good sea bass action.

You can see more of Bob’s report and an upcoming forecast for Northwest Oregon by becoming a paid subscriber HERE. Paid subscribers get about FIVE TIMES the amount of information for fifty cents a week!

Halibut and ocean salmon fishing is closed for the year, although one boat released a small feeder Chinook while bottomfishing at Three Arches.

The rivers are bare of driftboats and effort is low on Tillamook for Chinook. There was a rumor of early winter steelhead on the North Fork Nehalem, but action should pick up after Thanksgiving. The North Fork and Three Rivers should provide the best action for early season steelhead, and the Wilson River to a lesser degree.


Amy Wang of Beaverton with a November 18th lingcod out of Garibaldi. The group of 5 took easy limits of lings and sea bass just off of Oceanside, Oregon.

Lower Columbia River – Crabbing was excellent on the lower Columbia over the weekend. East winds is preventing safe crabbing on some days, but when boats can get out, the action is great.

Central and Eastern Oregon – From ODF&W

Anglers are reporting fair fishing for lake trout on Crescent Lake.

Trout fishing on the Fall River has been good.

Anglers are catching some bull trout on the Metolius River.

Recent sampling at Antelope Flat Reservoir showed good numbers of fish from 14- to 10-inches long.

Snow gates on Cascade Lakes Hwy west of Mt. Bachelor and on the road to Newberry Crater have been closed for the winter, limiting access to some popular locations.

River flows have increased on the John Day and steelhead are beginning to enter the lower river. Boating access is now possible. Recent angler reports indicate 5 hours per fish when using fly gear.Persistent anglers have been catching some steelhead on the Grande Ronde and Wallowa rivers.

Anglers heading to high elevation lakes need to be prepared for winter driving conditions. That said, you can expect to have waterbodies like Jubilee and Pendland lakes to yourself.

Klamath River below Keno Dam continues to fish well as flows remain low.

Klamath River below the powerhouse will have low flows until 2 p.m. — catch rates continue to be high.

The Ana River was stocked in late October and fishing has been fair. This spring-fed river, with its constant water temperature, is a great late fall and winter destination.

Most Lake County waterbodies are frozen or are starting to freeze over.

This time of year, anglers should keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for winter driving conditions.

Southwest – From ODF&W 

This Friday and Saturday (Nov. 23 & 24) are Free Fishing Days in Oregon – days you don’t need a license or tag to fish, crab or clam anywhere in the state open to fishing/crabbing/clamming. (Remember, all other rules and regulations apply.)

As long as access permits, trout fishing should be good as several area lakes and reservoirs, including Hemlock Lake, Lake in the Woods, Howard Prairie, Fish Lake, and Fourmile Lake. Low water levels may favor anglers fishing from personal watercraft such as kayaks and float tubes, or from the bank.

Lost Creek Reservoir will be the premiere trout destination in the Rogue Valley throughout the winter.

Steelhead are still being caught on the lower Rogue thanks to an exceptional run of half-pounders and adults running upriver this fall.
Umpqua River anglers might consider the upper mainstem for hatchery coho.

Winter steelhead fishing is still a few good rains away from taking off, but it’s not too soon to check your gear and be monitoring water levels.

Lingcod and other bottomfishing in the ocean was going well, but with winter weather on its way crossing the bar may be difficult.

Bottomfish anglers may now fish at all depths for the remainder of the year. Fishing for lingcod and rockfish has been good when the ocean is calm enough to fish. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon is closed for the remainder of the year.

Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line, which is open year round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips.

Salmon fishing from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain closed Oct. 31. The Elk River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Season continues through Nov. 30.

2018 STOCKING SCHEDULE and STOCKING MAP

From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com

The coastal lakes coho fisheries are hurting. Tahkenitch Lake is the only one having anything resembling a normal season. The dam on the Siltcoos River outlet has only been open for short time periods due to low stream flows and salmon fishing has been poor.

Coho fishing at Tenmile Lakes has been very poor as the salmon are having a very difficult time getting into and then ascending Tenmile Creek.

Yellow perch and rainbow trout are available to anglers on all three lakes although Tenmile is the only one of the three lakes having much fishing pressure directed at these fish species.

We are definitely in a drought situation and unless it changes soon – there will be very little successful spawning in the tributaries of these lakes this year.

As for crabs and clams, toxin-related closures are now an every-year occurence – Winchester Bay was the only port on the entire Oregon coast that didn’t have a crabbing closure last year.

SW Washington – Salmon/Steelhead:

Nothing new on the WDF&W web site, but HERE’S the November 11th report.

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